Grilled Plum Salad with Brandy-Mint Vinaigrette


I love plums.  Love them.  They are so versatile, good both savory and sweet.  I also love a good salad and am always willing to try something new in this arena as well.

The key to a decent dressing is good olive oil.  There is no question it elevates the salad to new heights.  It can also mercilessly drag it down when not up to par.  A good extra-virgin olive oil is key to this Grilled Plum Salad with Brandy-Mint Vinaigrette.  The ingredients are few, so quality matters.

When I made the dressing, I sort of felt like it needed something else, another flavor.  But then I stepped back and looked at the other ingredients going into this salad; bacon, grilled plums, goat cheese, toasted pecans and peppery arugula.  I decided to hold off adding anything and I’m glad I did.

This salad exploded with flavor.  A bite with plum, cheese, arugula, nut and vinaigrette….yum.  However, it’s definitely a grown up salad with the brandy addition.  The perfect starter for a special dinner.

Try it for yourself when you have some time.

In a heavy pan fry 1/2 pound bacon until crispy (I didn’t take a picture).  Place sliced plums tossed with extra-virgin olive oil, salt and freshly ground pepper on a grill pan, flesh side down.  Cook 2-3 minutes until grill marks form.

In a bowl or shaking vessel, mix together 2 Tablespoons brandy, 1 Tablespoon lemon juice and 1 Tablespoon honey.  Season with salt and freshly ground pepper to taste.  Drizzle in 5 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil while whisking constantly, or put in a vessel and shake vigorously.  Add 1 Tablespoon thinly sliced mint and set aside.

Arrange arugula on a platter and top with the grilled plums, flesh side up.  Dollop with creamy goat cheese and sprinkle with pecans.  Drizzle with vinaigrette and crumbled bacon.

Grilled Plum Salad with Brandy Mint Vinaigrette
Adapted from the San Francisco Chronicle

2 Tablespoons brandy
1 Tablespoon Meyer lemon juice
(you can substitute regular lemons but the taste will be sharper & more acidic)
1 Tablespoon honey
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
5 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for the plums
1 Tablespoon thinly sliced (chiffonade) mint
4 plums
1 bunch baby arugula
1/2 pound bacon, fried and crumbled
1/4 cup goat cheese
1/4 cup pecans, toasted

In a heavy pan fry bacon until crispy.  Place sliced plums tossed with extra-virgin olive oil, salt and freshly ground pepper on a grill pan, flesh side down.  Cook 2-3 minutes until grill marks form.

In a bowl or shaking vessel, mix together brandy, lemon juice and honey.  Season with salt and freshly ground pepper to taste.  Drizzle in 5 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil while whisking constantly, or put in a vessel and shake vigorously.  Add mint and set aside.

Arrange arugula on a platter and top with the grilled plums, flesh side up.  Dollop with creamy goat cheese and sprinkle with pecans.  Drizzle with vinaigrette and crumbled bacon.

One Year Ago:  First…

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54 Comments

  1. Diane 1

    Mmmmm that looks so good. We have plums on our allotment but many split after a fortnight of no rain and then a sudden deluge. Someone’s said that plums ripen if you pick them hard. At the moment though there’s a lot of wasps who are enjoying the delicious juicy plums. If I can rescue some without being stung I’ll give this a go! It looks and sounds excellent!

    Reply
  2. Oh YUM! This makes my taste buds water in anticipation….and I have plums from our orchard just waiting to be used in a tasty way.

    Reply
  3. Both beautiful and simple. Now, if I only liked plums…or feta. *lol*

    Reply
  4. This looks wonderful. Can’t wait to try it and will do so this weekend. Thanks Cathy.

    Lea Ann

    Reply
  5. I think this looks fabulous.

    Reply
  6. Wow, stunning, Cathy! I’m often surprised how amazing a salad made of just a few wonderful ingredients can taste. :-)

    Thanks!
    Shirley

    Reply
  7. Lordy lordy this looks tasty. I love fruits on traditional salads. They just add a nice sweety and tangy taste to them, don’t you think?

    Reply
  8. You posted this just for me, huh? I love plums and might make this salad to take for the tailgating on Saturday…it would fuel my engines!

    Reply
  9. dawn 9

    I love plums too and these beautiful pictures.

    Reply
  10. Yum city!

    Reply
  11. Oh boy this looks delish! I have to try it! Did I tell you that I made the nectarine, chicken, and red onion kebabs and devils on horseback for a party this summer and everyone raved! They were both divine! Thank you for all the wonderful recipes you share!

    Reply
  12. Marjie 12

    It’s a great idea! Plums never last long enough around here to become anything other than a plum snack!

    Reply
  13. Ramona 13

    What a great idea. I never thought of adding plums to a salad.
    Ramona

    Reply
  14. Flea 14

    Man alive, woman. You sure know your way around a kitchen.

    Reply
  15. Suzette 15

    This salad is making my mouth water! Way over here! I don’t use plums much. Perhaps I should start – and this looks like a good place!

    Reply
  16. GoodNIGHT. Absolutely beautiful. Thinking it’s been awhile since I said that about a salad.

    Reply
  17. What a fabulous salad, great way to use those gorgeous grilled plums! The brandy vinaigrette sounds excellent here!

    Reply
  18. FANTASTIC Recipe!
    Eating a salad with fruit in it makes it seem almost like you are eating dessert! Grilling plums takes this theme to a whole new level – thanks for sharing!
    Cheers,
    Kathy

    Reply
  19. Pam 19

    What a lovely salad. I love the textures and flavors… Sweet, salty, creamy and crunchy – what more could you ask for?

    Reply
  20. Lisa Sipple 20

    What a beautiful salad and beautiful pictures. Love the goat cheese.

    Reply
  21. Paula 21

    Mmmm … brandy AND bacon. Life is good! :-)

    Reply
  22. Mary 22

    I love the flavors you’ve used for this salad. The textures, too, are, grand. Thanks!

    Reply
  23. grace 23

    i hereby declare that every salad ever should contain some sort of fruit. grilled fruit? even better.

    Reply
  24. I’ve used apples and pears but never would have thought to add plums to a salad. That is one very tasty looking vinaigrette. Yum.

    Reply
  25. Great idea for a salad. I’m ashamed to admit that incorporating plums into more of my cooking doesn’t usually cross my mind. Weird fact: Did you know that the plum sauce that they use in Chinese restaurants is mostly made out of pumpkins?

    Reply
  26. I love that you grilled those plums! I make a similar salad with pears–and I bet it would be good if I grilled those, too!

    Reply
  27. Exploding with flavour…I like that:D

    Reply
  28. This is such a lovely salad! I love plums too! Yum!

    Reply
  29. This looks like a big bowl of super-yum!

    Reply
  30. Debbie 30

    What a delicious way to enjoy plums. They are on sale here right now at most grocery stores….thanks for the idea!

    Reply
  31. Cheryl 31

    ‘Tis rare that I CRAVE anything with fruit or vegetables…this salad is entirely craveable! :)

    Reply
  32. That looks anad sounds delicious! i really can’t wait to try it!

    Reply
  33. Velva 33

    The salad looks stunning! And with grilled plums-just amazing! Thanks for sharing this with us.

    Reply
  34. LilSis 34

    I’ve never had plums in a salad but this sounds amazing!

    Reply
  35. Julie 35

    Seems like everytime I start to comment here it starts with “I’ve never tried…” This looks awesome..I obviously need to start trying every last thing you make!

    Reply
  36. Oh my what a mouth watering salad, seriously my mouth is tingling, just imagining the saltiness of the goats cheese and the tartness of the plums. Oh I will have to try this one day. Thanks

    Reply
  37. Miranda 37

    Beautiful salad. I have a bunch of amazing sweet red plums I am trying to create a recipe for.

    Thanks for sharing…

    Reply
  38. lo 38

    Brandy mint vinaigrette — that sounds fantastic. Totally love the flavors here… plums and bacon!!

    Reply
  39. And we actually have a plum tree…

    Reply
  40. I love plums too, but I have never had one grilled!! I’m totally missing out.

    Your pictures are amazing, I wish I could be there with a fork!

    Reply
  41. I love a salad with sweet, salty, crunchy, tangy, all the things in this one. Great mix of flavors.

    Reply
  42. Goat cheese, pecans, bacon! Tasty.

    Reply
  43. The salad looks so ELEGANT! Looking forward to trying the recipe.

    Reply
  44. Donna 44

    Ive never thought of brandy in a salad dressing. It sounds like a most delicious addition. The whole damned salad is just freaking spectacular, just sayin.

    Reply
  45. YUM! What an wonderful looking salad, and with bacon yet. How can you go wrong?

    Reply
  46. imom 46

    That looks like an explosion of flavor!!

    Reply
  47. megan 47

    I love the flavors in this salad. It is so pretty. I can’t ever find Meyer lemons here. (But I keep looking.)
    I’ll give this a try when the hubs returns.

    Reply
  48. Heather Holleque 48

    I made this salad tonight without the brandy (used a combo of lemon and red wine vinegar) The salad was really wonderful, we couldn’t stop eating it!

    Reply
  49. Lisa 49

    I really like this. It is beautiful and has so much flavor I can taste it from here! I think I’ll try it the next time I make a special dinner.

    Reply
  50. Beautiful salad. I am seeing two things here that I think are truly unique. I never thought of plums in a salad and I never thought of brandy in a vinaigrette. Both excellent ideas!

    Reply
  51. “The key to a decent dressing is good olive oil. There is no question it elevates the salad to new heights. It can also mercilessly drag it down when not up to par.â€￾

    We couldn’t agree more. Quality and sourcing are so important—now more than ever. It’s incredible how great of an impact something so simple can have on the flavor and joy we get out of food. It’s certainly worth the investment.

    Reply
  52. Yummy! Anything with goat cheese and plums are fantastic…. you can even use apricots!

    Reply
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